11/20/2011 archive

Rant of the Week: Keith Olbermann

Keith’s Special Comment: Why Occupy Wall Street needs Michael Bloomberg

In a Special Comment, Keith contextualizes Mayor Bloomberg’s actions against Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park and how they have – unintentionally – vaulted the movement from a local nuisance to a global platform for the disenfranchised.

I’m lying to you NOW!

Promises fall short, Keystone XL pipeline’s foes say

Keystone projections don’t match revenue reality for counties

Cody Winchester, Sioux Falls Argus Leader

11:51 PM, Nov. 19, 2011

When TransCanada was pushing to build an oil pipeline in eastern South Dakota back in 2007, the company’s marketing strategy included newspaper ads that promised counties along the route more than $9 million in tax revenue.

But four years later, in the pipeline’s first year of operation, tax records show that the 10 counties crossed by the Keystone oil pipeline received just one-third of this amount.

(F)or fiscal 2010 taxes collected this year, the company paid only $2.95 million to counties and school districts, according to figures provided by county auditors and treasurers. This does not count tax revenue TransCanada paid directly to the state, some of which was refunded under an incentive program for large projects.

A look at what TransCanada promised selected counties in estimated annual tax payments and the actual tax payment in fiscal 2010:

  • Marshall County: $937,804.50 promised; $286,280.98 actually paid;
  • Clark County: $1,369,565,98 promised; $359,646.04 paid;
  • Miner County: $1,140,855.42 promised; $391,047.39 paid;
  • Hutchinson County: $1,140, 264.64 promised; $424,504.72 paid.
  • Yankton County: $837,988.68 promised; $247,965.58 paid.

“That was the big sell on this, the amount that would come to our local governments,” said state Senate Minority Leader Jason Frerichs, a Democrat from Wilmot. He called the discrepancy “further evidence that there are many unanswered questions about the pipeline.”

Frerichs, meanwhile, has broader concerns: “If we couldn’t take their word for the property taxes … how do we know for sure they’re going to be there for the cleanup?”

So we lied.  Tough Shit.

Blaise Emerson, executive director of Black Hills Community Economic Development, has tesified in favor of Keystone XL at state and federal hearings. He said the relatively lower tax receipts from Keystone in the east does not trouble him, because taxes are only one reason to support Keystone XL.

“How I look at it, and hopefully the way most people look at it: Don’t cry over the fact that you didn’t get quite as much as you wanted,” he said. “Maybe the estimate was a little bit high, but you wouldn’t have that revenue at all if it wasn’t coming through.”

You can’t spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You fucked up… you trusted us!

On this Day In History November 20

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

On this day in 1945, Twenty-four high-ranking Nazis go on trial in Nuremberg, Germany, for atrocities committed during World War II.

The Nuremberg Trials were conducted by an international tribunal made up of representatives from the United States, the Soviet Union, France, and Great Britain. It was the first trial of its kind in history, and the defendants faced charges ranging from crimes against peace, to crimes of war, to crimes against humanity. Lord Justice Geoffrey Lawrence, the British member, presided over the proceedings, which lasted 10 months and consisted of 216 court sessions.


British War Cabinet documents, released on 2 January 2006, have shown that as early as December 1944, the Cabinet had discussed their policy for the punishment of the leading Nazis if captured. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had then advocated a policy of summary execution in some circumstances, with the use of an Act of Attainder to circumvent legal obstacles, being dissuaded from this only by talks with US leaders later in the war. In late 1943, during the Tripartite Dinner Meeting at the Tehran Conference, the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, proposed executing 50,000-100,000 German staff officers. US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, joked that perhaps 49,000 would do. Churchill denounced the idea of “the cold blooded execution of soldiers who fought for their country.” However, he also stated that war criminals must pay for their crimes and that in accordance with the Moscow Document which he himself had written, they should be tried at the places where the crimes were committed. Churchill was vigorously opposed to executions “for political purposes.” According to the minutes of a Roosevelt-Stalin meeting during the Yalta Conference, on February 4, 1945, at the Livadia Palace, President Roosevelt “said that he had been very much struck by the extent of German destruction in the Crimea and therefore he was more bloodthirsty in regard to the Germans than he had been a year ago, and he hoped that Marshal Stalin would again propose a toast to the execution of 50,000 officers of the German Army.

US Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., suggested a plan for the total denazification of Germany; this was known as the Morgenthau Plan. The plan advocated the forced de-industrialisation of Germany. Roosevelt initially supported this plan, and managed to convince Churchill to support it in a less drastic form. Later, details were leaked to the public, generating widespread protest. Roosevelt, aware of strong public disapproval, abandoned the plan, but did not adopt an alternate position on the matter. The demise of the Morgenthau Plan created the need for an alternative method of dealing with the Nazi leadership. The plan for the “Trial of European War Criminals” was drafted by Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson and the War Department. Following Roosevelt’s death in April 1945, the new president, Harry S. Truman, gave strong approval for a judicial process. After a series of negotiations between Britain, the US, Soviet Union and France, details of the trial were worked out. The trials were set to commence on 20 November 1945, in the Bavarian city of Nuremberg.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

Up with Chris Hayes:If you are an earlier riser on weekends or, like me, up all night working, I’ve heard that Hayes is a good watch and has had some very interesting guests and discussions. Guests are not announced adding to the spontaneity of the format.

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: This week’s guests: Rahm Emanuel; Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Coons (D-DE); the roundtable tackles the race for the Republican nomination and all the week’s politics, with George Will, political strategist Matthew Dowd, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, and Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer:The guests are Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and GOP presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)

The Chris Matthews Show:This week’s guests: Helene Cooper, The New York Times White House Correspondent, Lizzie O’Leary, Bloomberg TV Washington Correspondent, Dan Rather, HDNet Global Correspondent and John Heilemann, New York Magazine National Political Correspondent.

Meet the Press with David Gregory:The guests are Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Republican Whip, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ). At the roundtable: Democratic strategist Dee Dee Myers, Republican strategist Mike Murphy, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, and former RNC Chairman, Ed Gillespie.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley:Guests are super committee co-chair, Sen. Patty Murray (D-OR); Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY); Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; republican strategist Rich Galen, and former Pennsylvania republican Rep. Robert Walker

Except for Hayes and the opportunity to watch Paul Krugman, sleep in.

Glenn Greenwakd: Here’s What Attempted Co-Option of OWS Looks Like

The 2012 election is almost a full year away and nobody knows who is running against President Obama, but that didn’t stop Mary Kay Henry, the D.C.-based National President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), from announcing last week that her organization endorses President Obama for re-election. That’s not surprising – while many unions have exhibited political independence, SEIU officials have long been among Obama’s closest and most loyal allies in Washington – but what was notable here was how brazenly Henry exploited the language of the Occupy movement to justify her endorsement of the Democratic Party leader: “We need a leader willing to fight for the needs of the 99 percent . . . .Our economy and democracy have been taken over by the wealthiest one percent.”

But now SEIU’s effort to convert and degrade the Occupy movement into what SEIU’s national leadership is – a loyal arm of the DNC and the Obama White House – has become even more overt, s Greg Sargent reports today:

One of the enduring questions about Occupy Wall Street has been this: Can the energy unleashed by the movement be leveraged behind a concrete political agenda and push for change that will constitute a meaningful challenge to the inequality and excessive Wall Street influence highlighted by the protests?

A coalition of labor and progressive groups is about to unveil its answer to that question. Get ready for “Occupy Congress.”

New York Times Editorial: Reneging on Justice at Guantánamo

In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that Guantánamo Bay prisoners who are not American citizens have the right of habeas corpus, allowing them to challenge the legality of their detention in federal court and seek release.

The power of the ruling, however, has been eviscerated by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The appellate court’s wrongheaded rulings and analyses, which have been followed by federal district judges, have reduced to zero the number of habeas petitions granted in the past year and a half.

The Supreme Court must reject this willful disregard of its decision in Boumediene v. Bush, and it can do so by reviewing the case of Adnan Farhan Abd Al Latif, a Yemeni citizen imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay since 2002.

Nicholas D. Kristoff: Occupy the Agenda

YOU have to wonder: Could Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police chiefs around the country be secretly backing the Occupy Wall Street movement?

The Occupy protests might have died in infancy if a senior police official had not pepper-sprayed young women on video. Harsh police measures in other cities, including a clash in Oakland that put a veteran in intensive care and the pepper-spraying of an 84-year-old woman in Seattle, built popular support.

Just in the last few days, Bloomberg – who in other respects has been an excellent mayor – rescued the movement from one of its biggest conundrums. It was stuck in a squalid encampment in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park: antagonizing local residents, scaring off would-be supporters, and facing months of debilitating snow and rain. Then the mayor helped save the demonstrators by clearing them out, thus solving their real estate problem and re-establishing their narrative of billionaires bullying the disenfranchised. Thanks to the mayor, the protests grew bigger than ever.

George Zornick: Memo Reveals How Seriously Powerful Interests Take OWS

This morning, Up With Chris Hayes unveiled a major scoop: the show obtained a written pitch to the American Bankers Association from a prominent Washington lobbying firm, proposing a $850,000 smear campaign against Occupy Wall Street.

The memo, issued by Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford, described the danger presented by the burgeoning movement, saying that if Democrats embraced Occupy, “This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street…. It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.” Furthermore, it notes that “the bigger concern…should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies.”

CLGC was pitching an $850,000 campaign of opposition research and targeted campaigns against politicians who supported the movement. It was written by two firm partners with close ties to House Speaker John Boehner: Sam Geduldig joined CLGC before Boehner became speaker, and Jay Cranford left Boehner’s office this year to join the firm. Another partner at CLGC is reportedly “tight ” with the speaker.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Around the Fukushima plant, a world left behind


By Chico Harlan, Published: November 20

Namie, JAPAN – Eight months ago, people left this place in haste. Families raced from their homes without closing the front doors. They left half-finished wine bottles on their kitchen tables and sneakers in their foyers. They jumped in their cars without taking pets and left cows hitched to milking stanchions.

Now the land stands empty, frozen in time, virtually untouched since the March 11 disaster that created a wasteland in the 12-mile circle of farmland that surrounds the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Syrian Baath Party building ‘hit by rockets’ in Damascus

Tibet rocked by wave of self-immolation

Spain election: Rajoy’s Popular Party predicted to win

Hiking the Redwoods with California’s ‘Squatchers’

Kenya finds cleaner government is just a keystroke away

What’s Cooking: Autumn Succotash, Not Your Usual Suspect

OK. We have covered the Main Event, The Turkey, and two ways you can cook him (or her, if you get a hen), baked or fried so that he’s not just very pretty but very tasty. And we have written about two of the favorite side dishes, dressing , the unstuffed, and sweet potatoes with a new kick, as well as a couple of twists on traditional desserts, pumpkin and meatless mince.

It’s now time to discuss the least, popular dish on the table, vegetables. At our house, my son-in-law has his favorite green been casserole with those crunchy onion crumbles on top, which is not on the top of my list for flavor. This year a Trader Joe’s opened near us and the s-i-l has found a new variation on his favorite dish, which he promises, I’ll like. I will let you know.

My aunt loves succotash but nobody else like the tasteless, gritty, mushy lima beans. When I was a kid that would be the only thing left on my plate. Last year, when she came up for a surprise visit, my daughter, her favorite great niece (and her only one), found a variation on the old standard that our dear aunt loved and I ate.

The recipe calls for edamame. For those of you who aren’t familiar with edamame (the web site is cute) is an immature soy bean that has been harvested before it starts to harden:

The word Edamame means “Beans on Branches,” and it grows in clusters on bushy branches. To retain the freshness and its natural flavor, it is parboiled and quick-frozen. In East Asia, the soybean has been used for over two thousand years as a major source of protein. Edamame is consumed as a snack, a vegetable dish, used in soups or processed into sweets. As a snack, the pods are lightly boiled in salted water, and then the seeds are squeezed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers.

Like all soy beans, edamame are a nutritional power house containing carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and micronutrients, particularly folic acid, manganese and vitamin K. The edamame beans contain higher levels of abscisic acid (a plant hormone), sucrose, and protein than other types of soybean, and may contain carotenoids, which acts as an anti-oxident.

All right enough with the educational blather. You can find edamame in the frozen section of most large supermarkets, like Stop ‘n Shop, ShopRite, etc. The s-i-l found then in Trader Joe’s frozen section already pealed. Woo-hoo! Less work.

Autumn Succotash


  2 slices thick-cut bacon (about 2 ounces), chopped

   1 shallot, finely chopped

   2 cups fresh edamame or thawed frozen edamame or one 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans, thawed

   1 pound frozen corn kernels, thawed

   1/4 cup water

   1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley


Heat heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and sauté until fat begins to render, about 1 minute. Add shallot and sauté until bacon and shallot begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add edamame, corn, and 1/4 cup water and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and sprinkle with parsley.